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Elder President Bush In Intensive Care

In this June 12, 2012 file photo, former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, arrive for the premiere of HBO's new documentary about his life in Kennebunkport, Maine. On Wednesday, a spokesman for the former president says the 88-year-old is alert and talking to medical staff after being admitted to the intensive care unit at a Houston hospital. Bush has been hospitalized since Nov. 23, when he was admitted for a lingering cough related to bronchitis and "remains in guarded condition."
AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File
In this June 12, 2012 file photo, former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, arrive for the premiere of HBO's new documentary about his life in Kennebunkport, Maine. On Wednesday, a spokesman for the former president says the 88-year-old is alert and talking to medical staff after being admitted to the intensive care unit at a Houston hospital. Bush has been hospitalized since Nov. 23, when he was admitted for a lingering cough related to bronchitis and "remains in guarded condition."

Though he is reportedly alert and enjoying a "running banter" with his nurses, former President George H.W. Bush is in the intensive care unit at Houston's Methodist Hospital.

The Houston Chronicle writes that "Jim McGrath, Bush's spokesman in Houston, said the 88-year-old's fever rose on Wednesday, but doctors at Methodist Hospital report he is doing better than the day before. He was admitted to the ICU on Sunday."

The nation's 41st president has been in the hospital since the day after Thanksgiving. He went there for treatment of a persistent cough. A fever has kept him there.

Bush is the oldest — by about four months — of the four living former presidents. He turned 88 in June. Jimmy Carter turned 88 in October. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush (son of the ailing former president) are both 66.

The Chronicle says Bush has been "surrounded by family" during his hospital stay.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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